A lot of what I talk about in regard to the church is a reaction against something else. For a period of time my wife even stopped talking to me about Relief Society lessons because of what I would argue or disagree with. After a lot of self-reflection over the past few months, I realized my problem: I am not standing up for what I believe is right, I’m just arguing with those who do. When I think there is an over-emphasis on necklines or haircuts, or a teacher presents something that I think is wrong, I want to speak out.
So far there are some good and bad sides to this. On the one hand, I am much more enthusiastic and enjoy the good parts of the meetings A LOT more. On the other hand, I’m still not sure what to do when something is happening that I think is wrong. For example, one person in my ward (not the bishop, but in a fairly prominent position) during each of the last few weeks has taught some things that I felt were false and misleading, to say the least. I’m sure this person has good intentions and doesn’t know of the error, but it is REALLY starting to concern me as I have a young son who will hear these lessons over and over again, and there is no way I’m going to be able to catch every comment about how important issues like earrings are, or how Lehi “sailed to America” or how John Taylor’s watch saved his life. During a recent lesson my wife said I “visibly scoffed” after one of these things was shared. It wasn’t intentional, but when I hear things like that I guess I can’t help it.
So what should I do? How do I keep the peace and not upset the apple cart, so to speak, while still standing up for what I believe in? We can’t let these things slide, or the truth will be the victim of the comfort-level of the crowd.
If anything, all this has taught me that the Truths of the gospel are the things that can be simplified without being twisted, distorted, or whitewashed. Love one another. Serve each other. Grow. Be kind. Reach out to those who are suffering. That is what I’m teaching my sunbeam class, and that is what I want my son to learn.